Lane-splitting is legal in most parts of the world, while in others it isn’. It’s legal in all of the European countries, except Germany. It’s legal in New Zealand. It’s legal in some states of Australia. However, it’s illegal in all states of US, except California. As some states in the US to legalize something that’s been considered perfectly safe, New Zealand finds itself in “splits”.
Just in January alone, 10 riders have died in New Zealand!
However, it’s vital to understand that nearly all of the deaths during lane-splitting are either the result of car drivers being plane-jane negligent or motorcyclists indulging in over-aggressive and risky manoeuvres. Both of which, don’t have any support for, in law.
Studies have shown that lane-splitting is actually safer for motorcyclists.
However, the problem lies in the fact that a lot of motorists, including motorcyclists don’t know that it’s legal, even in the places where it is! This often leads to car drivers rashly cutting off motorcyclists for indulging in something that’s perfectly legal. Consequently, this causes aggrieved aggression and frustration on both sides, which eventually lead to crashes in many cases!
Sandra Venables, Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing, has a message for motorists.
She urges motorcyclists to not take “unnecessary risks”. 8 motorcyclists and 2 pillion riders have died in the month of January alone, this year due to lane splitting. Compared to a total of 34 road deaths in New Zealand during the period, the number is shocking! And Venables perfectly sums up our feelings about it..
“It has been a terrible start to the year for motorcyclists and the families they haven’t come home to.”
“Dangerous overtaking could mean instead of getting to a destination faster, motorcyclists did not get there at all.”
All I can say is, that lane-splitting for all the good it offers, can be real bad if you don’t do it safely. Lane splitting being legal doesn’t mean you go around weaving traffic at dangerous speeds.